Implications of the BC Premier Sept 11th, 2014 Meeting with First Nation Leadership Council & BC Chiefs regarding the Tsilhquot'in Supreme Court of Canada Decision Webinar. This webinar on the Tsilhqot'in Supreme court decision will be presented Arthur Manuel
The main purpose of this Webinar is to talk about colonization, self-determination and the need for Indigenous Peoples to take a strong stand on our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. It is through exercising our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights that we will be able to reduce and eliminate the systemic impoverishment we have experienced generation after generation under Canadian colonialism. The economic uncertainty and risk created by Aboriginal and Treaty Rights has caused economic institutions, and former Prime Ministers, to begin addressing a new relationship with Indigenous Peoples. The federal and provincial governments both realize that they have a legal obligation to consult with Indigenous Peoples: It is up to us to use that obligation to bring about an end to our existing dependency on the federal and provincial governments.
Indigenous Peoples need to look beyond jobs, business opportunities and resource revenue sharing and look at having our Indigenous laws and jurisdiction recognized on the ground. Cases like the Tsilhqot’in case (2014) where Aboriginal Title has been recognized on the ground make it critical that Indigenous Peoples assert their law and jurisdiction against provincial governments attempts to infringe on Aboriginal Title and Rights. This is true in Canada’s economic drive to build pipelines and refocus the resource extractive industries as the basis of Canada’s economy. Indigenous Peoples cannot just plug into the existing federal government system and expect sustainable development and economic security. The record speaks for itself that Canada and provincial economies do not benefit our Peoples. For Indigenous Peoples, a new economy must emerge that is based upon recognition of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.
Indigenous Peoples sovereignty is based upon our right to self-determination. In Canada when you add up all the Indian Reserves, we have total of 0.2% of all the land. That means Canada and the provinces claim title to over 99.8% of our Aboriginal and Treaty territory. It is this act of dispossession that impoverishes Indigenous Peoples. You need to consider the percentage of land in our control as equivalent to the percentage of resource benefits we receive from our land. Our benefit from our land is only .02% of its actual value. Canada and the provinces take over 99% of the benefit and that is precisely why we are poor. It is important to realize that cases like the Tsilhqot’in case can change decision-making processes, laws and policies regarding who gets the benefits from our land. It is important for us to connect the dots in these complex legal and economic issues.
It is critical to think about what is going to come from the meeting being held between the Premier and the Chiefs of BC on Thursday 11 September 2014. It is also important to monitor what is happening in the Tsilhqot’in territory because what happens there will have an impact on us all. Aboriginal Title, economic uncertainty and knowledge need to be used to be used build a new, dramatically different, Canada. This webinar will initiate this kind of discussion, especially in relation to the evolving situation in British Columbia.
Presenter Arthur Manuel Bio:
Arthur Manuel is a spokesperson for the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade. Former Chief of the Neskonlith Band and chairperson of the Interior Alliance of BC First Nations. Manuel has been a leading voice of opposition to the Canadian government's agenda to "extinguish" Aboriginal and Treaty rights and assimilate Indigenous peoples into the Canadian body politic. Active locally in defense of Shuswap land (during the expansion of the Sun Peaks resort), and at the national level, he has also taken the struggle international, following in the path of his father, the late George Manuel, President of the National Indian Brotherhood and founder of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples.